Victor Oehrn

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Victor Oehrn
Born (1907-10-21)21 October 1907
Kedabek, Russia
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Cemetery Rüngsdorf. Section II–Grave 226
Allegiance  Weimar Republic (to 1933)
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
Years of service 1927–45
Rank Fregattenkapitän
Commands held U-14
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Victor Otto Oehrn (21 October 1907 – 26 December 1997) was a Fregattenkapitän with the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded the U-boats U-14 and U-37, sinking twenty-four ships on four patrols, for a total of 104,846 tons of Allied shipping, to stand 28th on the list of highest scoring U-Boat aces of World War II.


Oehrn joined the Reichsmarine in 1927, serving aboard the light cruisers Königsberg and Karlsruhe, before being one of the first officers to transfer to the newly formed U-boat arm in July 1935. He was appointed to command of U-14 in January 1936, and patrolled in Spanish waters during the Civil War in July–September 1936. In August 1939 he joined the staff of BdU as an Admiralstabsoffizier.[1]

In May 1940 Oehrn took command of U-37, in order to restore trust in the G7e/T2 torpedo, which had performed abysmally, often detonating prematurely or not at all. In four patrols he sank 23 merchant ships for a total of 103,821 GRT, damaged another of 9,494 GRT, and sank the British sloop HMS Penzance, before returning to the staff in August.[1]

From November 1941 Oehrn served on the Mediterranean U-boat staff, but during a mission to North Africa in July 1942, he was severely wounded and captured. After recovering at a British Military Hospital in Alexandria, Oehrn was sent to POW Camp 306 on the Suez Canal. He returned to Germany in October 1943 after being released in a prisoner exchange. Oehrn spent the remainder of the war serving on the staff in a number of posts.[1]

Summary of career

Ships attacked

As a U-boat commander of U-37 Victor is credited with the sinking of 23 ships for a total of 103,821 gross register tons (GRT), further damaging a ship of 9,494 GRT and sinking one warship, HMS Penzance, of 1,025 metric tons (1,009 long tons; 1,130 short tons).

Date Name of ship Flag Tonnage Fate
19 May 1940 Erik Frisell  Sweden 5,006 Sunk
22 May 1940 Dunster Grange  United Kingdom 9,494 Damaged
24 May 1940 Kyma  Greece 3,994 Sunk
27 May 1940 Sheaf Mead  United Kingdom 5,008 Sunk
27 May 1940 Uruguay  Argentina 3,425 Sunk
28 May 1940 Brazza  France 10,387 Sunk
28 May 1940 Julien  France 177 Sunk
28 May 1940 Maria Rosé  France 2,477 Sunk
29 May 1940 Telena  United Kingdom 7,406 Sunk
1 June 1940 Ioanna  Greece 950 Sunk
3 June 1940 Snabb  Finland 2,317 Sunk
8 June 1940 Upwey Grange  United Kingdom 9,130 Sunk
23 August 1940 Keret  Norway 1,718 Sunk
23 August 1940 Severn Leigh  United Kingdom 5,242 Sunk
24 August 1940 Brookwood  United Kingdom 5,100 Sunk
24 August 1940 HMS Penzance  United Kingdom 1,025 Sunk
25 August 1940 Blairmore  United Kingdom 4,141 Sunk
25 August 1940 Yewcrest  United Kingdom 3,409 Sunk
27 August 1940 Theodoros T  Greece 3,409 Sunk
27 September 1940 Georges Mabro  Egypt 2,555 Sunk
28 September 1940 Corrientes  United Kingdom 6,863 Sunk
30 September 1940 Heminge  United Kingdom 2,499 Sunk
30 September 1940 Samala  United Kingdom 5,390 Sunk
6 October 1940 British General  United Kingdom 6,989 Sunk
13 October 1940 Stangrant  United Kingdom 5,804 Sunk


Wehrmachtbericht reference

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Monday, 10 June 1940 Ein von der Fernfahrt zurückgekehrtes Unterseeboot unter dem Kommando von Kapitänleutnant Oehrn meldet die Versenkung von 43000 BRT feindlichen Schiffraums.[5] A submarine returning from a long-distance patrol under the command of Kapitänleutnant Oehrn reports the sinking of 43,000 GRT enemy shipping.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Helgason, Guðmundur. "Fregattenkapitän Victor Oehrn". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 19 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Busch & Röll 2003, p. 78.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Busch & Röll 2003, p. 79.
  4. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 328.
  5. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939-1945 Band 1, p. 195.
  • Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (2003). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 (in German). Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 (in German). München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • Helgason, Guðmundur. "Victor Oehrn". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 16 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>